A basement renovation can be an incredibly vital, enjoyable, and profitable addition to your home if it is done the right way. In the hands of the wrong construction company, however, you newly remodeled basement might just lead to something far less desirable: a mold problem.
Mold and Its Risks
Otherwise known as mildew, mold is a type of fungus that reproduces by dispersing thousands of tiny spores that can attach to and grow upon nearly any surface. In addition to being pretty unsightly, mold can pose serious health risks.
Many people are allergic to certain types of mold. It can cause symptoms and illnesses that range from relatively minor eye and throat irritation to asthma and more serious conditions in people with compromised immune systems. In fact, health issues from household mold problems are so prevalent and important that the World Health Organization (WHO) has released a 250-page report on the effects of dampness on indoor mold growth and air quality.
Why Mold Loves Basements
The WHO report echoed thousands of years of science in its declaration that, mold loves moisture. In addition to requiring a damp service to grow upon, mold needs oxygen and a source of nutrition. Unfortunately, it is easy to please when it comes to food, thriving on the cellulose in wood, carpet, drywall, tiles, and a wide range of common construction materials. It grows best in moderate temperatures that range from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
In many environments, these growth conditions may prove quite restrictive. In virtually every basement, however, the potential for mold issues is quite prevalent. Any small water leak or even an excess of indoor humidity can turn your basement into a gigantic Petri dish!
Avoiding Mold Growth
Since mold spores are unavoidable and exist nearly everywhere, the key to mold control lies in preventing or arresting its rapid growth process. And the best way to do this is by controlling dampness and airflow.
Here are just a few tips to keep your basement mold-free:
- Use insulation to avoid temperature condensation from accumulating on cold surfaces inside of your home.
- Fix all water leaks and clean up remaining moisture quickly, ensuring that you ventilate the area until it is thoroughly dry.
- Remove or professionally clean any water-damaged material including drywall, insulation, ceiling tiles, carpet, and furniture.
- Decrease humidity levels by running a dehumidifier or air conditioner according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Clean air ventilation infrastructure on a regular basis and check the filters in your HVAC system for mold growth.
- Add new air ventilation infrastructure as needed, paying particular attention to less-used interior spaces such as laundry rooms and closets.
Start with Effective Basement Remodel Design and Execution
At Diamond Hill Builders, we employ the latest in modern construction techniques and materials to maximize basement airflow and prevent the build-up of moisture. Lose that humid air and musty smell that are all too common in residential basements by hiring a contractor that can stop mold growth before it starts.